10,000 Masks

Justin England, Marysville UniFirst Branch Manager and Ashlynn Danielson, Tulalip Tribes Emergency Preparedness Manager.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Masks seem to be at the center of many heated debates in today’s society. Conspiracy or not, the Tulalip Tribes passed a ‘no mask, no service’ resolution at the beginning of July, requiring individuals to wear masks in all public spaces within the Tulalip reservation, including tribal establishments, gaming and government, as well as at local businesses. The decision was made in response to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases on the reservation after a long period with zero reported cases after the initial outbreak, as the Tribe acted swiftly to prevent the virus from spreading any further. 

“I think right now with COVID-19 being as serious as it is, social distancing and the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) are important,” expressed Marysville UniFirst Branch Manager, Justin England. “I think if everyone has enough PPE then they can stay safe and keep their families safe.”

UniFirst is a nationwide corporation that specializes in providing uniforms and safety gear for businesses at 260 locations. With cases spiking throughout the entire country, UniFirst began a corporate initiative to assist business owners during the global pandemic.

“We’re taking part in a company-wide initiative, partnering with businesses in our local communities across the country,” explained Justin. “UniFirst is donating 10,000 masks in a lot of communities. I was approached by someone at our corporate office asking if we’d like to be a part of this with our community and I said I’d love to. When they asked who I’d like to partner with, being in Marysville, my first thought was the Tulalip Tribes. That’s when I reached out, hashed out the details, partnered up and made this happen.”

On the afternoon of July 22, Justin hand-delivered several boxes filled with blue surgical masks to the Tulalip Tribes Office of Emergency Management team at the Tulalip Administration building. 

A misunderstanding occurred when UniFirst revealed they would be distributing the masks to the Tribe as a local news team announced that Tulalip was handing out masks to the public. The announcement sent many on a course headed to the Tribe’s admin building. And though explaining the kerfuffle to them, Tulalip’s Emergency Preparedness Manager, Ashlynn Danielson still provided those who made the journey to the rez with one mask each for their troubles. The majority, save for the few handed out that afternoon, will be distributed to business establishments throughout Tulalip and Quil Ceda Village.

“The thought concept behind these masks were to support our local businesses, the smaller mom and pop shops,” Ashlynn stated. “They can reach out and we can provide them with masks to have on-hand. In the event that their patrons come in and either forgot their masks or don’t own a mask, the company can provide them with a free mask and still do business with them.”

“We’re also planning to give the Tulalip police officers masks,” she continued. “As the officers come in contact with civilians who aren’t wearing a mask, they could ask them if they’d like to have a mask and request that they wear one, and also expand on why it’s important to wear masks.”

The Center for Disease Control recently issued a press release urging Americans to wear face masks to slow the spread of the virus throughout the Nation. There are some, however, who feel that governmental entities that mandate its citizens to wear a mask is a violation of their constitutional rights and t refuse to wear one. 

The Tulalip Office of Emergency Management will be distributing the masks to local businesses in the near future. To stay updated on all the latest COVID-19 info, please follow Tulalip News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit the Tulalip Coronavirus Response website. 

“We are in unknown territories,” admits Ashlynn. “COVID-19 is not something you plan for; it didn’t exist. Knowing that we have groups coming together and that our tribal membership and community members are listening about wearing masks, recognizing that what we’re telling them is true – you need to mask, it helps protect everyone, you and your loved ones – I would say that this donation really warms my heart.”

The Importance of Exercise + 12 simple ways to get more physical activity

Yoga Pose Seilavena Williams / Photo by AnneCherise Jensen

Submitted by Tulalip Tribes SNAP-Ed Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen.

Did you know the U.S. spends $117 Billion dollars in annual health care costs associated with inadequate physical activity? According to the CDC, only half of adults get the physical activity needed to help reduce and prevent chronic diseases. Believe it or not, getting enough physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths. More and more research suggests that living an active lifestyle can help prevent certain types of diseases like Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Not only that, but physical activity helps boost the feel good hormones in our brain, helping us feel more content and happy.  

The CDC recommends individuals should get at least 150 minutes a week of brisk physical activity and at least two days a week of muscle strengthening activities. Though, it can be hard getting in the habit of being active, when you start small, you can slowly build yourself up to more challenging activities. Here are some tips on how to incorporate a more active and healthy lifestyle, so you and your family can live your healthiest and happiest life.

Evening and Morning Walks: Start and end your day with a brisk walk. Getting small doses of physical activity at the beginning of the day, helps wake you up and feel more alert. Taking walks in the evening is a great way to burn off the post dinner calories and enjoy the late summer sunsets. If you feel up to it, try jogging to build cardio and lung capacity. 

Family Bike Rides:  If you have a few bikes on hand, try planning a family bike outing in your local neighborhood. Riding bikes is a fun and exciting physical activity kids are eager to participate in. To be safe, make sure to wear a helmet and stay in the bikelane  or on the sidewalk. Gardening: Gardening, weeding and spending time in the yard is a great way to increase physical activity throughout the day. Not only does this get you moving, but allows you to connect with nature, while learning more about plants and food. Gardening also has been known to be therapeutic and relaxing to many individuals. If you don’t know how to garden, there are hundreds of books and youtube videos that can help point you in the right direction. 

Stretching / Yoga: Stretching is one of the best forms of exercise. Stretching keeps the muscles strong, healthy and flexible. Without stretching, muscles would shorten and become tight. Other known benefits of stretching include: improved posture, decreased neck and back pain, increased blood flow, a deeper and more peaceful nights sleep, mental clarity and stress reduction. Create a safe space in your home where you can spend 15-30 minutes stretching a day. 

Hiking: Hiking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do for your body, especially in the summer months when the mountain trails are accessible. Not only do you get a great cardio exercise, but also a bone and muscle strengthening exercise. For more information on hiking ideas + safety, check out WTA.ORG.

At home workout station: You don’t need a ton of space to be able to get in a good workout. Try creating an at home work out station in your backyard or garage. Start by collecting affordable equipment like a jump rope, resistance bands, and small weights. If you don’t have equipment, you can improvise and use canned goods, filled water bottles, or even tools as weights. Practice stretching in place, getting repetitions of squats, sits ups, jumping jacks, and knee kicks.  Be sure to check out online fitness videos or smart phone apps for professional workout routines. 

Foraging / Harvesting: Participating in foraging and harvesting is a great way to connect with culture, nature, plants and the human spirit. The outdoors have so much to offer, and learning cultural traditions is a great way to stay moving while getting more physical activity. Not only is this challenging for the body, but for the mind as well. 

Home Improvement Projects: Accomplishing tasks around the house is a terrific way to stay moving and motivated throughout the year. Home improvement projects can vary from a wide variety of tasks, including yard work, carpentry, landscaping, building, and fixing up the house. Many of these projects require the use of muscle, strength and skill – all good for the body and the mind. 

Outdoor games with kids: Children love interactive engagement with parents/adults. This is a great opportunity to squeeze in both physical activity and quality family time. Try classic games like tag, frisby, and sharks and minnows. Check out the local basketball court and go shoot some hoops. On a real hot summer day, organize a water balloon fight for both parents and kids to enjoy. 

Cleaning & Organization Projects: Cleaning and organizing your home is a great way to stay active.  Not only that, but it can help ease feelings of depression and anxiety. Having a clean space is a key to inviting a happy, peaceful and calm atmosphere into the home. 

Take the Stairs: When you get the opportunity, always take the stairs. A few flights of stairs may not seem like a lot of physical activity at first, but doing this often will add up to great results. Doing so will help you burn more calories throughout the day, while building lung capacity, strengthening your bones and stimulating muscle growth! 

Make Screen Time an Active Time: When family TV time comes along, get creative and turn lazy time into active time. Have a contest to see who can do the most push-ups or jumping jacks during a commercial break. Older kids and adults can stretch, practice yoga or lift weights while watching TV. 

Know there are many other forms of physical activity you can do to help keep active. These are just a few common ideas to help get your fitness journey started. Know that ultimately, you are in control of your body and capable of doing amazing things! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/about-physical-activity/why-it-matters.html

Tulalip Legacy of Healing and Child Advocacy Center are here for you

Jade Carela (center) and the Child Advocacy Center advocates, Sydney Gilbert (left) and Megan Boyer (right), hosting a 2019 National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Sexual Abuse Awareness Month panel at the Tulalip Administration building.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“I really want people to know that they can reach out in any capacity at any time,” said Tulalip Legacy of Healing and Child Advocacy Center Manager, Jade Carela. “And remind people that though things might be slowed down and we might be doing things a little differently, we’re still here for you.”

For years the Tulalip Legacy of Healing (LOH) and Child Advocacy Center (CAC) have represented safety, healing, hope and new beginnings for many Tribal members looking to escape sexually abusive or violent relationships. Typically, the LOH and CAC staff are busy year-round raising awareness for the victims of DV and survivors of sexual assault. 

For instance, April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and that month alone is jam-packed with a number of seminars, panels and classes aimed to provide a safe space for victims to speak, express their emotions and begin the healing process. The month also is held in part to educate the community about what sexual assault is, how often it occurs and how to identify warning signs. But with the presence of the pandemic, the LOH and CAC team was met with a number of challenges that they were forced to quickly overcome in order to ensure their clients, and anybody in need of their services, could access them.

“When COVID first happened, we moved everything to tele,” Jade explained. “Tele just means that we’re providing that service from home. And the therapists are also doing mental health services from home. We really don’t see anybody in-person anymore. I took on our lead advocate’s phone, so we still respond to emergencies and anything that comes up.”

Last month, Tulalip Child Advocate, Sydney Gilbert, hand-delivered fliers to businesses located on the reservation out of concern that people, especially children, are less likely to report due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re really trying to focus on the fact that we have to rely on everyone, on each other, right now to look out for the safety of kids,” Sydney stated. “Because they are not with their teachers on a regular basis, they’re not with other kids, they aren’t even with other family members who they can disclose that information to. There are a lot of kids stuck at home with their abuser, with no access to a mandated reporter, no way to escape that environment that they’re in.”

A decision was recently made to close the Tulalip Legacy of Healing Safe House indefinitely, but Jade wants to ensure the community the LOH department still has plenty of resources and can help direct individuals seeking refuge to a nearby shelter or safe house. 

“The Legacy of Healing is still there; we just don’t have a safe house anymore, but we have other places that we know of where there are shelters,” said Jade. “If you are Native, we work with a place in Seattle that provides assistance when it comes to needing a hotel or things like that. Even though we don’t have our safe house, there’s other Native safe houses within Washington State that we have a good relationship with, and there’s also other shelters that we have good relationships with. We still have the advocate and attorney right now who’s able to help with our cases.” 

In addition to passing out informational fliers, the Tulalip LOH and CAC recently launched their Facebook page where they plan to share various articles and educational pieces surrounding heavy topics such as domestic violence and sexual abuse. 

“This information is important because the abuse is still happening, whether we’re seeing it or not,” said Jade. “We need to be there for them, even if it’s just one child or one adult that comes forward with something that’s been going on. They need that support, they need someone there, and they need a service that’s going to be thinking of their best interest while going through this process. We’re always here, so reach out. We can be on the court calls with you and connect you with the attorneys. We can talk with you, we can offer other resources to you, we are here for you.”

For more information, please contact the Tulalip Legacy of Healing at (360) 716-4100 or the Tulalip Child Advocacy Center at (360) 716-KIDS (5437), and be sure to also give their new Facebook page a follow.

Healthy Eating for Kids

Submitted by SNAP-Ed Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen

In today’s day and age, it can be a challenge to get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. With processed and fast foods so easily convenient, getting kids to eat a healthy well balanced meal can be a chore. However, it’s extremely important that kids eat foods high in nutrients to ensure their growth is adequate going into adulthood. Most children and teens need to eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day to fuel their growing, active bodies. Children should be eating 3 meals and 1-2 snacks a day. If they are more physically active or going through a growth spurt, they may require even more nutritious snacks. It’s recommended to have a total of at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This can mean 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables, or 1 serving of vegetables and 4 servings of fruits. Here are some easy tricks to help get your children to eat a more well balanced diet! 

Offer Taste Testings: Children are often hesitant when trying new foods, especially fruits and vegetables.  Try offering taste testings frequently, especially while kids are young. This will get them in the habit of trying new foods and exploring their taste buds. Talk about what qualities they experience while trying new foods – is it sour, salty or sweet? What is the texture like? What color is the food? What does it look like and where does it come from? Having in depth conversations like this with children while they are young will help them develop a healthy relationship with food as they grow. They may not end up liking all the foods they try, but they will find new foods they do like along the way. The important part is, encouraging them to try.

Make Meals Simple:  Don’t over season or make meals complicated. The simpler, less seasoned the dish is, the more likely the children will eat the desired food. Kids taste buds are much more sensitive at a young age, and tend to gravitate to simple flavors. Try to limit excessive sweetened or saltend foods, also.   

Sneak In Healthy Ingredients:  Can’t get your kids to try fruits and vegetables? Try sneaking them into foods. If you cut up produce small enough, once it’s cooked into the dish, children may not even notice they are there. Onions, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and spinach are common vegetables that can be snuck into any pasta, soup or casserole dish. 

Allow kids to have a say in the produce department: Plan a fun trip to a grocery store or farmers market with your children.  If you are limiting the number of household members shopping at one time, kids can help make the shopping list. Allow kids to have a say in what produce is chosen.  Have your kids take a look at some recipe books and encourage them to pick out healthy recipes. The more you involve the children in the process, the more inclined they will eat the fruits and vegetables once you are home.

Invite kids to cook with you in the kitchen: The best way to teach kids about eating right, is getting them involved in the kitchen. Cooking is a valuable life skill that teaches children about nutrition and food safety, as well as building math, science, literacy and fine motor skills. Chores your children can do in the kitchen include; rinsing produce in the sink, tearing lettuce, slicing fruits and vegetables, cooking with the microwave oven, creating a fruit and vegetable tray, and setting the table for dinner time. 

Parents as Role Models: Many children will eat foods and follow eating patterns their parents and older family members set. Lead by example. Choose to eat a wide variety of healthy meals, and be the example your children need. They may fight eating healthy foods while they are young, but as they get older and their taste buds change, they will most likely eat foods their parents and role models eat at the dinner table.  

Here are some kid friendly fruit and vegetable ideas to try at home: 

  • Homemade Smoothies : Give kids the opportunity to create their own smoothie creation! Blend together plain low-fat yogurt, preferred milk product or even coconut water with fruit pieces and crushed ice. Try frozen or fresh bananas, berries, peaches, grapes, mangos and cherries. This is also a great opportunity to sneak in vegetables without children detecting flavor. 
  • Healthy Dips for Fruit & Veggie Trays: Kids love to dip their foods. Try making some healthy fruit and veggies dips that increase both flavor and nutritional value of the snack.  Whip up a quick dip for veggies with plain yogurt and seasonings such as herbs or garlic. Serve with raw vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower. Fruit chunks go great with yogurt and cinnamon or vanilla dip.
  • Colorful kabobs: Assemble chunks of melon, apple, oranges, strawberries, bananas and pears on skewers or toothpicks for a fun fruity kabob. For a veggie version, use vegetables like sugar snap peas, zucchini, cucumber, squash, sweet peppers, or tomatoes. 
  • Personalized pizzas: Create a pizza-making station in the kitchen. Use whole-wheat English muffins, bagels, or pita bread as the crust. Have tomato sauce, low-fat cheese, and cut-up vegetables or fruits for toppings, like pineapple, peppers and mushrooms. Let kids choose their own favorites, then pop the pizzas into the oven to warm.
  • Apple Slice Cookies: Rather than offering cookies for dessert, try making apple slice cookies instead. Slice the apple into thin slices, add your favorite nut butter, then top with your favorite toppings. This could include chocolate chips, coconut, dried fruit, honey and nuts. 
  • Frosty fruits : Frozen treats are especially popular during the summer months. Try putting fresh fruits such as watermelon, grapes, or strawberries in the freezer for a cold treat. Make “popsicles” by inserting sticks into peeled bananas and freezing.
  • Bugs on a log: Use celery, cucumber, or carrot sticks as the log and add peanut or almond butter. Top with dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, or cherries, depending on how your children want to decorate their bugs! 
  • Homemade trail mix : Skip the pre-made trail mix and make your own. This is a fun project kids can get involved with in the kitchen. Use your favorite nuts and dried fruits, such as unsalted cashews, walnuts, almonds, peanuts or sunflower seeds mixed with dried apples, pineapple, cherries, apricots, or mango. For even more nutrients, add whole-grain cereals to the mix, too. 
  • Potato Face: Decorate a baked potato. Use sliced cherry tomatoes, corn, peas, beans and low-fat cheese on the potato to make a funny face. 
  • Nibble on lean protein: Protein helps keep us full for a longer period of time and are ultimately great snacks to have convenient in the kitchen. Choose lean protein foods such as, beans, unsalted nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, eggs, or plain low-fat yogurt orcheeses. Store boiled eggs in the refrigerator for kids to enjoy any time. 
  • Jazz up your favorite cereal: Try adding fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries or bananas to kids cereal in the morning. This is an easy way to get them to eat fresh fruit. If it works well, you could even try adding almond flakes for even more nutritional value. 
  • Liven Up Your Toast: Instead of choosing white bread, choose a whole grain bread that offers more fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Get creative and add peanut butter and strawberries, or an avocado and tomato slice. 

Homemade Frozen Yogurt 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups frozen strawberries or mixed berries
  • 1 cup low fat or fat free greek yogurt (If you are sensitive to dairy, most stores carry coconut based, dairy free yogurt options)  
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 lime or lemon wedges 

Directions: 

  • Add frozen fruit, yogurt and honey into a blender or food processor. 
  • Squeeze in the lemon or lime juice. 
  • Mix and blend well for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Serve immediately, or store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. 
  • Enjoy! 

Note: You can substitute or add any fruit ingredients into the frozen yogurt. Try adding peaches, bananas or even some coconut flakes to give it more flavor and texture. This is a great time to get creative in the kitchen, the possibilities are endless! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Source: 

  • www.ChooseMyPlate.gov      
  • https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/how-to-encourage-kids-to-embrace-healthy-eating

Hydration 101

Submitted by Tulalip Tribes SNAP-Ed Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen

Did you know that water makes up nearly half of your body weight? Naturally, the human body loses water each day when you sweat, go to the bathroom, and complete simple, everyday tasks. The more active you are, the more water you lose. And when the temperatures are really hot, you tend to lose water even faster.  That is why proper hydration is extremely important to your overall health, especially during the summer. 

The human body requires water for survival – every cell, organ and tissue needs water to function properly. Water helps eliminate toxins and unwanted bio waste lingering in the organs. Water also helps regulate the digestive system, lubricate the joints, regulate blood sugar, lowers body temperature when needed, maintains electrolyte balance and boosts overall energy. Water is our friend, and proper hydration can help you reach many of your health and wellness goals. Here are some tips and tricks to help keep you hydrated this summer! 

Calculating Your Hydration Needs: 

The CDC recommends the average person drink at least 8 cups ( ½ gallon ) of water per day. However, some individuals may require more fluid needs than others. Typically, men require more fluids than women – generally, the more you weigh, the more fluids you will need. Individuals who spend a lot of time in hot weather or those acquiring more than 30 minutes of exercise per day will be at a higher risk for dehydration, requiring more fluid intakes. Individuals who are sick or have chronic medical conditions may also require more fluids. As a general rule of thumb, use this simple calculation to estimate how many cups of water you should probably be drinking a day: 

Weight in Pounds x .66 = ___ ounces of fluid / divided by 8    *Note there are 8 ounces in a cup so divide the total number of ounces by 8 to convert ounces to cups.

Example 1: 160 lbs. x .66 = 105.6 ounces /8 = 13.2 cups of water a day 

Example 2: 210 lbs. x .66 = 138.6 ounces /8 = 17.32 cups of water a day 

Note – you should try to add 12 ounces of water to your daily total for every 30 minutes of strenuous physical activity. So if you work out for 60 minutes daily, you would add 24 ounces (or 3 cups) of water to your total daily intake.

Dehydration Warning Signs: 

When dehydrated, bodily functions can be negatively impacted. Ultimately, the best way to avoid dehydration is to avoid it before it happens. However, in case you or someone you know becomes dehydrated, it’s important to be aware of some of the early warning signs.  In doing so, you can begin to replenish your fluid levels before more dangerous symptoms occur, such as heat stroke. Here are some of the following warning signs of dehydration you should know: 

Thirst, dark urine, headache, little to no urine loss, flushed skin, increased body temperature, dizziness, increased weakness, vomiting, fainting.

8 Helpful tips to help keep you hydrated this summer: 

Eat foods high in water content. Most fruits and vegetables have high water contents and help fuel us with water, vitamins and minerals needed for good health. Some foods with high water content include watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, lettuce, spinach, celery, carrots, strawberries, grapefruit, bell peppers, apples as well as soups and broths. Choose a variety healthy beverages. 100% fruit and vegetables juices that are low in sugar content are a great option. Milk choices like low fat regular milk, yogurts, soy, oat and almond milk help hydrate too. Another great option includes herbal iced teas, that offer a unique and earthy flavor. When choosing healthy beverages, try sticking to choices that are low in sugar content. For active individuals, sports drinks that contain electrolytes are a great option too! 

Invest in a reusable water bottle. Invest in a durable, temperature controlled water bottle. Keep this with you throughout the day and make a habit to drink from it as often as possible. Not only will you be staying hydrated, but you will also help limit the use of plastic water bottles, in turn helping the environment. 

Try infused water. One of my personal favorite summer beverages is infused waters. Plain water can get dull, so try adding frozen berries, lemon, limes, cucumbers and fresh herbs to liven up your water. 

Drink water when hungry. Thirst is often confused with hunger, so when you’re feeling hungry, try drinking water instead.  Doing so, may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel more full throughout the day.  

Develop a healthy hydration routine. For many of us, drinking water can be a chore. We often forget to drink water alongside our busy schedules. If that’s the case, try creating a hydration routine, setting specific times in the day you dedicate to hydrating yourself. For example, drink water when you wake up and at the beginning or end of every meal. Or try drinking a small glass of water at the beginning of every hour. 

Drink water at restaurants. For those who are choosing to eat-out at this time, remember to drink the water that’s served, it’s free! 

Find a hydration buddy. Time goes by fast, and it’s easy to forget drinking liquids. Find a friend or family member who wants to reap the health benefits of being properly hydrated. Team up, remind each other, and keep one another accountable! 

Healthy Recipe:  Berry + Herb Water Infusion  

Ingredients 

  • One gallon filtered water
  • ½  cup frozen berries 
  • ½ cup mint, basil or other fresh herbs 
  • 1 lemon, squeezed 
  • 2 cups ice 

Directions

  • Place ice and frozen berries in a water pitcher. 
  • Dice up fresh herbs to release aroma and flavors. Add to pitcher. 
  • Squeeze fresh lemon into pitcher + lemon wedges. 
  • Add water and stir all ingredients. 
  • Allow to infuse for 15 minutes for best flavor. ENJOY! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Source: https://www.eatright.org/fitness/sports-and-performance/hydrate-right/hydrate-right

https://goodcalculators.com/water-intake-calculator/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html

Sarah Hart takes matters into her own hands

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

As many will recall, when the elusive coronavirus first struck the U.S., panic ran rampant throughout the nation. Perhaps in anticipation of self-quarantine or lockdown, people rushed to the supermarket to stock up on their essentials needs. Although this particular moment will go down in history as the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, TP wasn’t the only shelf left empty by panicked consumers. In fact, most home cleaning supplies were also completely sold out including disinfectant wipes and spray, paper towels, multi-purpose sprays and hand sanitizer.

“There were a lot of call outs on Facebook from people in the community, especially elders, saying they had no sanitizer, no masks or gloves,” explains Tulalip tribal member Sarah Hart. “I immediately went to the store thinking, I’ll just go pick up a bunch of hand sanitizers, I don’t mind paying for it. And then I got there, there was literally nothing. That’s when I knew I had to make something happen.” 

Solely out of concern for her fellow Tulalip community members, Sarah began to brainstorm ways to keep her loved ones as safe as possible during the pandemic, ultimately deciding to dedicate her stay-at-home hours to producing hand sanitizer. 

“For two days straight I YouTubed videos on how to make your own sanitizer and went on the CDC website to make sure it was strong enough. I felt the need to do something for the community because a lot of people didn’t have any hand sanitizer. I figured I could make a few bottles for when people go out to the store and they touch something like the carts, at least they could have one of my bottles on-hand and it could potentially save their life.” 

While organizations such as the CDC (Centers of Disease Control), FDA (Food and Drug Administration, and WHO (World Health Organization) maintain that washing your hands with warm soapy water for at least twenty seconds is key in limiting the spread of COVID, they also state that an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be effective in a pinch or on-the-go until you are able to properly cleanse your palms and digits.

Sarah wasn’t the only person manufacturing hand sanitizer out of the comfort of her own home, in fact several DIY hand sanitizer step-by-step guides were released during the early months of COVID. Around the world people were making sanitizer with the intention of personal use or financial gain. Unfortunately for many, due to cutting corners for profit or not using the proper ingredients, their homemade hand sanitizers were either rendered ineffective or caused unpleasant side effects such as burns and rashes. 

This was something Sarah intentionally avoided from the start, claiming that cheaper products would not come at the expense of her people’s health. So when the CDC recommended an alcohol base of at least 60%, Sarah went out and purchased 190-proof Everclear, 30% stronger than the CDC recommendation, essentially telling COVID that she is not messing around.

“It took me a good two weeks to get the consistency that I felt was safe enough. When I make a batch of one-hundred bottles I use Everclear, aloe vera, hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel for the skin so it doesn’t dry out and tea tree oil. If you go on Etsy or anywhere online 90% of the people that make it cut it with distilled water or rose water, something to make it cheaper.”

Once she had her recipe down, she recruited her youngins to lend a hand and assist with creating the concoction as well as bottling and distributing the product. Eventually over time, their passion for the family hand sanitizer project grew perhaps even larger than Sarah’s. 

“My kids have been amazing,” she expressed. “It makes me happy that my little ones are into helping. For the first two months we were making it every day and every morning they would wake up and were like, ‘let’s make hand sanitizer!’ They’ve helped tremendously.

“It has turned into something bigger than I thought it would be. For two months, I delivered hundreds and hundreds of bottles. And now, a few days out of the week I’ll make a batch of a hundred bottles and put them at the end of my driveway on a table and tell people to be safe and come and grab how many ever they need. And when I put them out, I spray them down all down, just in case because what if I’ve been in contact and unknowningly pass it to an elder or someone in the community.”

In addition to delivering the hand sanitizer, on two separate occasions Sarah and her kids assembled care packages for the elders of Tulalip by pairing two masks, two pairs of gloves and two hand sanitizers in Ziploc bags, on which they included a personal drawing or message for the recipients. Those care packages in turn inspired Sarah to help out a fellow Indigenous nation who have been hit hard by the pandemic, sending 200 care packages filled with masks and sanitizer to the Navajo Nation. You can also spot the employees of the Marysville Safeway, Albertsons, and local coffee stands utilizing Sarah’s sanitizer as she drops off dozens of bottles to local businesses during her weekly delivery rounds. 

High quality product requires a big budget and typically generates enough revenue for additional production costs as well as labor. Sarah’s main objective, however, is ensuring her people have the necessary supplies to protect themselves against corona and she has no intention of charging for her sanitizer. After emptying her entire savings account, she began to look at different possibilities and ways to obtain funds in order to continue her project. 

After organizing a 50/50 raffle and receiving friendly donations here and there, she was able to purchase more supplies. But with COVID not going anywhere anytime soon, she found the demand to be surprisingly higher than she originally expected. For this reason, she took the advice of fellow Tribal member, Natosha Gobin.

“She’s doing amazing work,” says Natosha. “Making hand sanitizer can be really pricey, so I set up an Amazon wish list for her and have been encouraging the community to go on there and purchase and send her materials. To see somebody take the initiative and say, I’m going to learn how to make this, I’m going to put my money into it and I’m not going to burden people with the cost, that shows a lot of heart. She didn’t want anything in return. The recognition wasn’t even something she was searching for, it’s just that desire to serve our community. It’s just in our DNA to take care of each other. It’s a perfect example of what our community is.”

“My main focus with everything is our people,” Sarah states. “Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, making sure they had something because there was so much going on. The smiles on their face makes it all worth it for me. I’ve definitely had my emotional moments; I love my people and community. This is more than sanitizer, this could help save a life and it’s made with so much love in it. I also started making alcohol wipes to hand out, for people to use and keep in their cars. With the numbers growing I feel it’s only necessary to do anything I can to help protect our people.”

To make a donation to Sarah’s hand sanitizer project, please contact her directly via Facebook or visit her Amazon wish list to help purchase supplies at https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1GIIUU6SBIAV5?type=wishlist

Elders Eats: Preparing and delivering well-balanced meals

Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“The food is good,” exclaimed Tulalip Elder David Fryberg. “I’m not a very good cook myself so this is convenient. It makes things so much easier when they do this, especially because of the times. One of the things the Tribe does is take care of the elders and I think everybody appreciates it, we’re very thankful that they do this for us.”

Every morning Tribal member and Tulalip Senior Center Community Resource Manager, Lorina Jones wakes up bright and early and journeys to the Senior Center to clock in for her shift at 5:00 a.m. In the remodeled Senior Center kitchen, she is joined by her crew, Nina Fryberg, Troy Williams, Jessica Leslie and Laverne Jones and they begin their daily grind of chopping, cooking and portioning out hot meals for the elders who call Tulalip home.

“I’ve grown up that way,” Lorina stated. “To respect my elders and do whatever I can to help them. We want to do the best we can to serve our people and we take pride in our work, we cook with a good heart.”

Accepting the call to duty, the five-person crew has been in a rhythm since the coronavirus first entered the scene, preparing two meals daily for the local elders. According to Lorina, the amount of meals prepared and delivered has increased by nearly fifty people since the Senior Center expanded their services to include all senior citizens, as well as elders enrolled with a different tribe. 

“Our numbers have almost doubled and there’s less of us in the kitchen because others had to be furloughed, so we’re doing the best we can. We do about 125 breakfasts and 141 lunches each day,” Lorina said. “Before corona, we were doing about 70 breakfasts and around 90 lunches. We serve all types of foods. We try to do things like roast, stew, chowder, NDN tacos once in a while, fish and rice. And for breakfast we do a meat, potato, egg, mixed fruit, yogurt and milk.” 

Tulalip Elder Protection and Vulnerable Adult Program Manager, Elishia Stewart, explained that the program had to undergo a few major adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s such a historical time, trying to figure out methodically what are the next steps,” she expressed. “Right now, we’re basically just focused on the meal program, since everybody is technically homebound. That’s one of the positive ways we can continue to impact our community, by providing them with the best nutrition possible. As a Tribal member, our elders are one of our most valued resources so we need to make sure they are being cared for, that’s been our main function here since COVID.”

Once the meals are portioned and plated, they are placed in large warmer bags to ensure the food remains fresh and retains its heat during the delivery process. Breakfast is served between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. while lunch is served at 10:00 a.m. The crew split up delivering duties to ensure the elders are receiving their meals in a timely fashion. The crew makes deliveries throughout the entire reservation, distributing tasty trays of food to residents of Hermosa, Silver Village, Battle Creek, Mission Highlands, Totem Beach Road, as well as to the elders living closer to the Marysville-Tulalip boundary line.  

“I love it when they give us fresh fruits and vegetables,” Tulalip Elder Pauline Williams expressed. “It saves us trips to the grocery store and all I really have to fix is an evening meal. It works for us. Lorina knows I don’t like to cook; I’d rather eat her cooking. It forces me to stay home. When I do go out, I try to be safe, I wear my mask and I go early in the morning when there’s not a lot of people out. It’s a real safety issue for us right now and I’m thankful for these deliveries. The cooks are risking their lives right now cooking for us and delivering it, and we appreciate them.”

To limit contact, Lorina and crew attempt to safely leave the meals at their front door. However, due to loneliness from isolation, many elders will meet the team at the door for a chance to quickly chat, catch up, and simply thank them for the meal. 

“It makes my heart happy knowing we’re able to provide them with at least two meals a day,” said Lorina. “It saves them from having to go out and look for food, or that extra meal, on their own and put their lives at risk. We always wear our masks and gloves when delivering. We change our gloves after every delivery. We want to protect ourselves and our elders. I love you all and hope you stay safe.”

For further details, please feel free to contact Elishia Stewart at (360) 913-1726.

Liven up your meals with fruits and vegetables

By Tulalip Tribes SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen 

Sadly, fruits and vegetables often get a bad rap. For some, they aren’t the most popular foods on the menu. However they contain extremely high amounts of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health and immunity. They are low in fat and calories, and contain lots of fiber and other key nutrients. Most Americans should eat more than 3 cups — and for some, up to 6 cups — of vegetables and fruits each day. Vegetables and fruits don’t just add nutrition to meals, they also add color, flavor, and texture, bringing the meal to life. When cooked and paired together properly, fruits and veggies create unique and exquisite flavor combinations.  Here are some fun and creative ways to bring healthy foods to your table. 

Fire up the Grill. Summertime is finally here! Now is the perfect time to fire up the grill to cook vegetables and fruits. Try grilling mushrooms, carrots, peppers, or onions on a kabob skewer. Brush with oil to keep them from drying out. Grilled fruits like peaches, pineapple, or mangoes add great flavor to a cookout. 

Expand Flavor of Casseroles. Mix vegetables such as sautéed onions, peas, garlic, broccoli, spinach, or tomatoes into your favorite dish for that extra flavor. If you dice them up small enough, you can even get away with sneaking them into the dish without anyone knowing. 

Planning something Italian? Add extra vegetables to your pasta dish. Slip some peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic or cherry tomatoes into your traditional tomato sauce. Vegetables provide texture and low-calorie bulk that satisfies.

Get Creative with Salad. Toss in shredded carrots, strawberries, spinach, watercress, orange segments, or sweet peas for a flavorful, fun salad. With the summer heat upon us, a crisp and refreshing salad is both healthy and satisfying! One of my favorite summer salads is an ‘Apple Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette’. Check out the recipe provided below!

Substitute Fruit for Dessert. Try a fruit based dessert instead of processed or overly sweetened dessert. Fruit based dessert will provide you with more nutrients while also preventing you from consuming excess calories throughout the day. Options could include a fruit smoothie, berry parfait, fresh whole fruit, or fruit based popsicles. These are great options to satisfy the sweet tooth in the summer heat! 

Get in on the Stir-Frying Fun. Try something new! Stir-fry your veggies — like broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, bok choy, peppers, mushrooms, onions or green beans — for a quick-and-easy addition to any meal. Add a lean source of protein and some whole grain rice to make the meal complete! 

Add to Sandwiches. Whether it is a sandwich or wrap, vegetables make great additions to both. Try sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, or avocado on your everyday sandwich or wrap for extra flavor. These are great to bring to lunches for work, hiking, or any other outdoor activity. 

Be Creative with Baked Goods. Add apples, bananas, blueberries, or pears to your favorite muffin recipe for a treat. Doing so gives some extra flavor and nutrients, all while being creative in the kitchen! 

Veggie and Fruit Trays: I’ve learned the best way to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables, is to prepare it in a fun and eye appealing manner. Make some fruit and veggie trays that have a wide variety of options. This is a great way to get individuals to try new foods they may not have originally tried on their own. Some of my favorite summer choices include watermelon, honeydew, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cherries, grapes, celery and cherry tomatoes. Add a few healthy dipping options like low fat ranch, hummus or Greek yogurt to compliment the assortment. 

Liven up Breakfast. Boost the color and flavor of your morning omelet or egg scramble with a variety of vegetables. Simply chop, sauté, and add them to the egg as it cooks. Try combining different vegetables, such as mushrooms, spinach, onions, or bell peppers. This is the perfect way to fuel for the day! 

Want local, organic fresh produce delivered to your front door? Check out Klesick farms online produce department at www.klesick.com. They have a wide variety of produce you and your family would love. 

With Covid-19 on the rise, it is comforting knowing healthy produce can be delivered to your door without having to leave the house. You can create your own assortment of goods, or you can sign up for specific box packages/sizes that include, “Family on the Go” “Harvest Box” “Fruits” or “Veg /Salad” options. If interested, you may also purchase local meats, eggs and grain products. Check out the following steps to get your family signed up for your own Klesick Box of fresh produce! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.